1080 rabone combination square

Combination Square – Best in 2020

There are ls many different types of woodworking square available so I will first outline them here. Each 90° square has a task it can perform well but I feel the combination square is a very versatile tool and so it is an ideal solution if you are only buying one tool. Below you will find my Best in 2020 recommendations for a combination square for the purpose of woodworking.

Stanley combination square in use

‘Combination by Name’ – ‘Combination by Nature’!

The combination square can check

  • 90° angles
  • 45° angles
  • 135° angles
  • The rule for truing or measurements

The combination square has a variety of uses – The square head can be used for a variety of purposes such as scribing right angles and parallel lines, measuring, tri-squaring, mitering, depth gauging, height gauging, and levelling. A truly versatile tool.

My Selection of Combination Squares

I have put together a small collection of combination squares for you to consider. You may notice there is a good selection of Irwin combination squares that I consider good quality. Irwin a brand that has been around for a long time and has gained a reputation for quality vs value.

I have also listed Starrett because these are what I would call the best you can get with its die-cast head. These Starrett combination squares are a tool you will only need to buy once and are comparable with my old Rabone Chesterman squares.


Starrett Steel Combination Square with Square Head – 6″ or 12″ Blade Length, Cast Iron Heads, Hardened Steel, Reversible Lock Bolt, Scriber a handy little Spirit Level.

I own this square and although it is one of the most expensive I have to say the Starrett is the best quality and most accurate. The construction is cast iron for the body and has a hardened steel blade that does not bend easily. Markings are  Designed for Precision – The ruler has a 4R graduation type with 8ths, 16ths, quick reading 32nds, and 64ths that greatly increase the accuracy of your measurements.

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6″ Starret Steel Combination Square

12 Starrett Steel Combination Square


IRWIN Tools Combination Square, Metal-Body, 6-Inch our *BEST VALUE * option

1080 irwin 150mm combination square 02

This ‘Combination Square’ has a Cast-Zinc body for durability and a Stainless-Steel blade is built for rugged use. Also available as a  12″ and 16″ combination square with easy-to-read measurement scales and durable engineering to meet the demands of the Jobsite.  

Although the Irwin is a superb value and an excellent tool. If I was to compare it with the Starrett I would say the rule on the Starrett was more rigid and spring-like so resisted bending. 

These Irwin tools are excellent value and solid so this would be mu Value for money option even though there are cheaper versions

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The Combination Square with durable cast zinc bodies and precision etched scales provide accurate 90° and 45° readings, and the T-Bevel is ideal as a depth gauge and for transferring angles.

6″ Metal Combination Square 1794468 is a smaller version of the 12″ but the same quality. I use my 6″ square for small joint work and setting my machines blade square to the table.

16″ Metal Combination Square 1794471 is the same as the 12″ but 16″ long


STANLEY 2-46-028 Combination Die Cast Square, 300mm/ 12”

Precision die-cast body with 3 precision machined faces for accuracy and a 360° vial for all-around visibility of the bubble. Not a bad combination square which I have in my tool bag for site work and has both metric and imperial markings. Easy-to-read etched markings on the coated blade for rust resistance.

High-quality brass nut and scriber fittings for long life

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6″ STANLEY Combination Die Cast Square 150mm / 6″

12″ STANLEY Combination Die Cast Square 300mm / 12″

16″ STANLEY Combination Die Cast Square 300mm / 16″

My Square Conclusion

So these are my favourite combination squares from the most expensive to two modest yet good tools from Irwin and Stanley.

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How to Test woodworking square

If you decide to buy any of the woodworking squares you will at some point need to test the combination square for true. In this video, you will learn how to check the square for 90°

I have also written a simple guide to test your combination square here

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